As we fast approach the end of January, 2018 is already in full swing, bringing us a new year and beyond.... but don't let it kick-start full steam ahead without making sure you have reflected on the learnings from 2017. Ask yourself,
- What lessons did you learn in 2017?
- What went well for you?
- What are you going to do differently?
- What are your opportunities and priorities for 2018?
And what did this reflection tell you?
Do you feel that you spent most of last year running around, chasing your goals to no real avail? Did you at times feel overwhelmed and burnt out? Do you feel at a loss this year with how to do things differently to get different results because you feel that you tried everything and got no where?
What if you could take a different approach... one that is based on proactivity rather than reactivity, receiving and accepting rather than chasing, being open to what's coming rather than forcing it.... the key to this approach is CREATIVITY. We all have it within us, even if we think we don't. It begins with redefining the stereotypical definition we have in our minds about 'creative types'... creativity comes in many forms and we all have the one necessary ingredient.... an imagination.
Imagination is one of the key facets that distinguishes human kind from animal kind, and we all have this ability and potential – once you have a taste of your creativity, who knows where you can take it. Consider Albert Einstein - he reminded us that creativity is not preserved for the likes of poets and artists; all that he is famous for came from his creative mind.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~ Albert Einstein
Creativity is about taking something as it is and looking for ways to improve it or do it differently. Coming up with new processes, being able to look at something with a different mindset or bringing new ideas into existence. We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the world and about ourselves. Creativity does not have to be about inventing, styling or innovating... it is more to do with developing something new within ourselves. When we change ourselves, our world changes with us.
Be the game changer...
Start by making time for creativity – put aside 30 minutes per day to be still, silent and checking in with your thoughts and feelings. You’ll find, when you get into the habit of slowing down and connecting with yourself, that you reap the finest rewards because you open your mind to its full potential. Slowing down enough to be aware of what’s happening and how you feel about it, allows you to connect with the forces within you. You’ll be amazed where your mind wanders when you let it - successful people who meditate regularly say their best problem solving ideas and creative visions have come from meditating, or soon after, because the mind is relaxed, open and calm.
I’m not suggesting for one second that you sit around all day and ‘wait’ for the ‘ahhh-ha’ moment or for all your problems to disappear... but instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box altogether and be prepared to grow and stretch your mind.
Solve your problems with creative thinking…
The secret is keeping things simple, and working away, day after day, moving forward to what you want to achieve. Be mindful of where you are, where you’ve come from and where you’re going... and take one step at a time.
By keeping it simple and straightforward and not over-complicating things, you will keep focused, and you will be able to see problems not as problems, but as opportunities. And ‘opportunities’ – because they have a positive mindset - kick-starting your creative juices.
Beat procrastination with creativity....
Procrastination occurs when you get stuck, you don't know where to start or think the task at hand is impossible, but it just means you haven’t found the solution yet. So instead of making excuses, giving up or distracting yourself, take time to stop and focus, push through the fear or doubt and work with the energy it generates rather than against it, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and how creative you can be. When the times of confusion and uncertainty come, the most important thing to do is to slow down and ‘allow’ – that means, work with the flow of your life and open your mind to new thoughts and ideas.
Creativity will come to you when you put your ‘thinking brain’ away for a bit and dig deep into your unconscious and allow your imagination to activate. You can do this by meditating, journaling, taking a walk with an ‘empty’ head. It’s only when you take time to stop the mental chatter that you can hear what you are really trying to tell yourself, and this is where you will find your creative genius.
Go forth and create the life you want with creativity! Good luck!